Steve April 16, 2021

Fox News goes all-in on downplaying the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo

Sean Hannity appears on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” at FOX Studios on May 11, 2015 in New York City. (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

In the wake of the Chicago Police Department releasing bodycam footage showing the killing of 13-year old boy Adam Toledo, Fox News quickly jumped into position to attempt to justify the killing of the boy, who’s families attorney argues did not have a firearm when shot to death in a dark alleyway. 

During a radio segment on Thursday afternoon, Fox News host Sean Hannity described Toledo as a “13-year-old man.” “We are awaiting the release this hour of Chicago Police bodycam footage that captured the fatal police shooting of a young 13-year-old man by the name of Adam Toledo. And if social media is any indication, there’s a lot of chatter today about possible unrest,” Hannity stated

But the justifying was only beginning from that point forward. On Thursday night during Hannity’s primetime show, Fox News contributor and noted carpetbagger Dan Bongino attempted to justify the killing due to the police officer’s heart rate being elevated. “Those are pretty damning stills, but you still have to remember when you put all of these factors together and the fact that his heart rate’s elevated by being in a foot pursuit where he’s breathing heavy and screaming orders, he may have legitimately thought that the subject was turning on him to fire at him,” Bongino stated. “I don’t know that; we’re going to have to hear what he says.”

Another Fox News guest further declared proudly on primetime that the media is to blame over “trying to make, what is apparently a good shooting, bad.” “What I’m seeing is tons of newspaper people, news folks, trying to make, what is apparently a good shooting, bad,” former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Garry McCarthy claimed. 

Fox guest says on Adam Toledo the media is “trying to make, what is apparently a good shooting, bad”

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) April 16, 2021

Former National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesperson and “SuperBeets” salesperson Dana Loesch further argued on the network that the shooting was “a justified shooting,”

As for the deadly incident, police assert that Toledo was holding a gun in his hand when shot to death. “The video, according to police, shows a gun in Toledo’s right hand as he nears an open area of fence next to an empty lot. Toledo turns to his left, toward the officer, and what police say is the gun disappears behind his right side. Toledo begins to raise his hands as he’s facing the officer when the officer fires his weapon,” CNN reported

But the lawyer for Toledo’s family argues that nothing was in his hands after coming out from behind the fence before being shot. “At the time Adam was shot, he did not have a gun. OK?” Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, the family’s lawyer, stated at a presser on Thursday afternoon, according to CNN. “In that slo-mo version (of one of the videos), whatever he had in his, in his hand, whether it was a gun or something else, there was something in his hand, he approaches the fence, he lets it go, he turns around, and he’s shot.”

The release of the body camera footage of Toledo being killed in Chicago comes on the heels of body camera footage also being released showing the heartwrenching final moments of Daunte Wright’s life in a suburb outside of Minneapolis, who was shot to death over a police officer claiming to have mistaken a firearm for a taser. 

Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo is a staff writer at Salon. He previously covered politics at Mediaite and The Daily Dot. Follow him on Twitter @ZTPetrizzo.

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